I admit that this is a recycled post from 2005, but I love this post. I loved it especially for the graphic which originally accompanied it, but somehow that picture is now lost to the internet. It's a fact for which all of you should weep.
You should also weep for the loss of the blog once known as "parents behaving badly", which in spite of its lack of credible discernment regarding parenting was good for the occasional laugh-and-wince combo.
Anyway, at some point they poked some innocent and clean fun at me for reading and posting at a salty blog called "Dad Gone Mad" (aka "DGM")(which I'm not linking to; it's enough to say that nobody reading this blog is ready for Danny Evans).
Here's the set-up: DGM blogged about his son's soccer game in which the goalie for the other team started crying because he was getting sieved, and his Dad then went down onto the field and started blocking shots on goal with him/for him.
To which, I admit I commented something to do with them needing a pair of "big girl panties", which was probably not the most charitable thing I ever said, so point made and taken.
Before I talk about what Jesus thought about poor losers, let me say that I am pretty sure Jesus never told anybody to "put on their big girl panties and deal with it." Not even in the Message by Eugene Peterson. Is that a fair disclaimer? That turn of phrase, said to a stranger, prolly would begin a fight; said to Pecadillo or Zach Bartels, it would be met with the commensurate degree of dogged-faced shame. It's not so much how you say it, but to whom you say it, and the joke's not funny if nobody gets it.
On the other hand, Jesus didn't think much of people who got their nose out of joint for no reason. For example, He didn't think much of people who asked Him too many questions in order to trip Him up and make themselves look good. He didn't think much of people who thought they were morally perfect and deserved a prize. He didn't think much of people who sold pidgeons in the temple, or who made a big show out of how much they gave to the poor.
But did Jesus ever say anything about being a sore loser? He did say this:
- You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. [Mt 5:13-16]
Are you the light of the world except when you get your face handed to you?
Readers coming here from Parents Behaving Badly might be thinking, "yeah, but cent: we're talking about a kid here -- maybe 8 or 9. It's a little much to get in some kid's face about being a crybaby." Walking in the mall, or in the grocery store, or maybe on the playground, you might be right. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't start heckling some kid who was being a brat. But on the field of play, that's another story.
If I were his coach, he'd come out of the game. Being a crybaby doesn't make you a better goalie -- period. Out. Or man up. There's nothing in the rules that says the other team has to take it easy on you because you're a "sensitive" kid, and asking them to do so is really just telling them that you're an emotional bully: my tears trump your superior ballhandling.
If I were his Dad, I'd take him out of the game. We play sports to enjoy it, and if it makes you cry you aren't ready to play sports. Sports are for big boys who can behave like big boys even when they are getting man-handled. Crying over sports is for bookies who are losing real money when the Cubs somehow muster a winning streak.
That's the advice I give to the parents of the kids we coach: no crybabies -- not on the field, and not on the sidelines. And I have coached the little kids who might be playing sports for the first time ever. Your kids are going to get hit by the ball; they are going to fall down; we want them to win, but sometimes they will lose. None of it is the worst thing that will ever happen to them, so use a little perspective and don't abide drama.
For those of us who are Christians, and will probably die daily either to sin or because of our Lord, we are always supposed to be an example of the kind of savior we have. Jesus didn't tell us to be good when it was easy, and He didn't say that we should never expect to lose. He said we should expect to demonstrate that losing is not the end of the world.
That's a good lesson as we get into the summer months and kids sports.